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Business Management for Horse Owners
 
Experts Jill Hassler
Russell Scoop

Questions (For answers, scroll down or click on question)

Can you recommend any good books or classes on how to start a carriage business?

How many horses are there in the United States, and particularly, in Wisconsin? How much money is spent on horses in the U.S. annually?

I have a 20 acre horse farm and I would like to start a business. I do not have any experience, but I love horses, what do you suggest for me to do?

I am looking to start a Tack shop/Horse store and would like to know if you can recommend any wholesale/bulk companies for me to buy from.

I am an Activities Director at a Veterans Home and have a gentleman that is interested in the race horse industry in general.  I would like any information regarding this.

I would like to know where to get information about starting a stable. I live in Columbus, OH and there aren't any schools around here that offer Stable Management.


What is the best arrangement/agreement for horse leasing?

What kind of initial investment is required for a top of the line equestrian facility?  What would be a recommended fee per month for boarding at this type of facility (assuming that you would like to make a profit and not just break even)?

How and where can I obtain contracts and documents for boarding horses on my property?

What is your advice about the most important factor to consider in starting a horse boarding facility?  I am going into business with another person.

I run a small boarding facility (10 boarders, 6 horses of my own) and have never treated it as a business for tax purposes.  I keep accurate records of all my income and expenses.  What is required to become a legitimate business?

Can you provide information or articles or books concerning stable/barn rules and regulations? I am opening a boarding facility and need to provide the safest environment possible.

What "homework" suggestions can you offer for people hoping to own and operate their own horse business one day? Are there any good starting points for learning more about the business end (how to obtain substantial start up business loans, what services to focus on, facility design, advertisement, legal issues, etc.)?


Questions and Answers

Q: I have a 20 acre horse farm and I would like to start a business. I do not have any experience, but I love horses, what do you suggest for me to do?

A: [Jill] First, make notes about what you most love about horses, what you feel would suit your land, your financial limitations, your time limitations and how you see yourself involved in this project. Once you have thought this through, I will be glad to advise you as you make plans, but this requires a consulting fee.

 

Q: I am looking to start a Tack shop/Horse store and would like to know if you can recommend any wholesale/bulk companies for me to buy from.

A: [Russell] You should call 1-800-553-7655 and ask how you can apply to become an approved Miller's dealer.  Miller's has high quality merchandise. 

 

Q: I am an Activities Director at a Veterans Home and have a gentleman that is interested in the race horse industry in general.  I would like any information regarding this.

A: [Jill]  There are several websites where you can get some information on race horses.  A few of the most extensive ones that I came across are:   "Cindy's Horse Racing" at members.xoom.com/horseracing, "The Running Horse" at webcom.com/~alauck, and "Equibase Company" at www.equibase.com.   You might also try getting the following books for the gentleman to read:  Joe Taylor's Complete Guide to Breeding and Raising Racehorses by Joseph Lannon Taylor and John R. Gaines and Secretariat: The Making of a Champion by William Nack.   The following are out of print but you might be able to find them:  Backside: The never-before-told story of the backside of the racetrack and the people who train racehorses by Marge Hazelton and Great Racehorses of the World by Roger Mortimer. 

 

Q: I would like to know where to get information about starting a stable. I live in Columbus, OH and there aren't any schools around here that offer Stable Management.

A: [Jill]  There are no specific programs to teach stable management, they are usually part of a college program.  Many students learn the skills by being working students on a farm.  If you want more specific information, I will be glad to give you more, however, I need to know some information about your current level of knowledge and experience. 

 

Q: What is the best arrangement/agreement for horse leasing?

A: [Jill] Pay a lease fee that is at least the cost of keeping the horse - farrier, vet, board, and training.  In addition, full mortality insurance with loss of use is important.  At most a percent/year of the value of the horse.    A lease can be shorter, but they are usually for a year at a time. 

 

Q: What kind of initial investment is required for a top of the line equestrian facility?  What would be a recommended fee per month for boarding at this type of facility (assuming that you would like to make a profit and not just break even)?

A: [Jill] The initial investment depends upon the size, quality, number of stalls, land, etc.  The focus and services provided will dictate the fees that you charge for board and lessons, as well as the location, investment, etc.  Most equestrian Centers will get between $800-$2,000 per month through board fees. 

 

Q: How and where can I obtain contracts and documents for boarding horses on my property?

A: I recommend using the book, "Starting and Running Your Own Horse Business" by Mary Ashby McDonald.  You can read a review of this book on our own Equerry Bookstore and then order the book from Amazon Press.  

 

Q: What is your advice about the most important factor to consider in starting a horse boarding facility?  I am going into business with another person.

A: Make certain you have Boarder Policy - People all have 'special' considerations and opinions when it comes to the care of their horse. It is important to enjoy working with people just as much, or more than, horses! I recommend you reading "Starting and Running Your Own Horse Business" by Mary Ashby McDonald.  You can read a review on this book at our own Equerry Bookstore and then order the book from Amazon Press. 

 

Q: I run a small boarding facility (10 boarders, 6 horses of my own) and have never treated it as a business for tax purposes.  I keep accurate records of all my income and expenses.  What is required to become a legitimate business?

A: This is a very individualized question.  I suggest you purchase "Starting and Running Your Own Business" by Mary Ashby McDonald.  You can purchase the book from Amazon Press through our own Equerry Bookstore. 

 

Q: Can you provide information or articles or books concerning stable/barn rules and regulations? I am opening a boarding facility and need to provide the safest environment possible.

A: Look on our site (www.equerry.com) in the Equerry Bookstore and then in the General category.  Check the book review on: "Starting and Running Your Own Horse Business" by Mary Ashby McDonald.  If you think this will meet your needs you can order right from our site from Amazon and get within a few days.  

 

Q: What "homework" suggestions can you offer for people hoping to own and operate their own horse business one day? Are there any good starting points for learning more about the business end (how to obtain substantial start up business loans, what services to focus on, facility design, advertisement, legal issues, etc.)?

A: The first thing to do is buy and read Starting and Running Your Own Horse Business by McDonald...You can review book from Equerry.com's bookstore and if you want more information click onto Amazon to review and possibly purchase. Next visit local horse businesses and collect information related to what they offer, their prices facilities etc. Decide what you would like to offer. You can contact your local area horse associations for more information.

 

Q: How many horses are there in the United States, and particularly, in Wisconsin? How much money is spent on horses in the U.S. annually?

A: Contact your State Department of Agriculture or Equus Magazine. They do an annual survey. 

 

Q: Can you recommend any good books or classes on how to start a carriage business?

A: I am very sorry, but the most I can offer is a book "Starting and Running Your Own Horse Business" by Mary Ashby McDonald. I believe it could be adapted to the carriage business. You can read a review of this book and order online at the Equerry Bookstore.

 


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